The words “Let’s travel together!” are easier said than done. How many times have you tagged your friends on travel-related posts you find online? You say “Eto na. Kulayan na natin yung mga drawing nating lakad, pwede?” Their replies include “Yes!”, “Go!”, “G!”. Some are braver and ask “Tara! Kelan ba kasi?” But in the end, it’s going to be just another notification on your profile. Let’s face it, friends. When you’re already in different workplaces and living different lives, it won’t be easy to plan and finalise everything in one go. Even if you’re all so sure that you’re going to travel together at least once, you will still encounter a lot of struggles when organising a rare barkada trip.
1. You don’t know when the trip is going to happen
When organising a barkada trip, you’re always forced to answer the One Million Dollar Question right at the beginning. “When?” And this is where the struggle starts. Because you don’t exactly live the same lives, it can be pretty hard to set a specific date to travel. One of you may have all the time in the world, but another one may have married his or her job already. Holidays don’t guarantee that you can travel together, either. Others work while others spend time with their families. But here’s what we think: if you can at least have a few days off, it doesn’t matter if you’ll be leaving and coming back home at the same time. You can meet at the destination and spend at least a few days there together. Making it work is possible. It’s your barkada, after all. You can make time!
2. You can’t find the time to PLAN for the trip
Date of trip solved, on to the next struggle—trip planning! Sometimes, life gets so busy that you can’t even find the time to meet up and plan your trip. So, what we suggest is that you make another group chat as your virtual meeting place. You can get a lot of things done online these days. All of you can research at your own pace and throw all your ideas in the chat box. One or two would sure be kind enough to turn those ideas into an itinerary. Then, you’ll be one step closer to your ultimate bonding experience.
Having a leader doesn’t mean that you can’t distribute workload, either! If someone makes the itinerary, another could book the tickets and other necessities. The key here is to have a clear channel of communication. Please, for the love of travel, don’t seenzone your friends! That’s the greatest sin when planning for a rare barkada trip!
Also read: 10 Woes of a Trip Planner
3. You have no idea how many are going
Aside from the fact that your barkada may be the Filipino version of AKB48, your jowas are also likely to come with you, right? Of course, they need to take the IG-worthy photos. And it’s also a chance to introduce them to the fam! But being open to the extended members of the barkada might also mean that your final headcount isn’t precisely final yet. Imagine them having a fight and deciding not to come at all anymore? What a killjoy!
Last minute cancellations are annoying, but you can’t help it. So, you have to be flexible instead. Make up your mind. Yung tipong mag-isa ka nalang pero aalis ka parin. Sayang kaya yung ticket! But seriously, folks, always make a backup plan especially if you’re in a large group. Assign primary and secondary persons for the responsibilities you have agreed upon, so it won’t be hard when someone backs out.
4. You want to go everywhere, or you don’t know where to go
Here’s the thing; because you know that this isn’t going to happen regularly, you want to make the most of it. So, it’s either you’re okay with going everywhere as long as you’re together or you want to go everywhere because you’ve been dreaming of doing all the activities together, too! Headache alert! It leaves you lost and confused. How do you move forward?
You have to be clear. What does everyone want? If you can’t have a single answer to that question, try this: where can you go where all of you are going to be excited for at least one day? You guys have to pick the right location. Make a poll and vote for your favourites.
It’s fun when you do group activities. You’re travelling with your barkada, right? Of course, you’re going to have a fantastic time! But it’s okay if you split the group on some days depending on what they like doing better. Also, know that some of you might need some alone time. You may not realise it, but it may be one of your friends’ only time to enjoy and relax. So, it’s better to hear out each other’s thoughts to make everyone happy.
5. You have different travel lifestyles
When looking for your accommodation, do you go for the cheapest one or the one closest to the train station? Some travellers plan everything well and book all the tickets ahead while others are more on the spontaneous side. It’s also possible that you have the same amount of pocket money, but you don’t intend to spend it on the same things. All these differences need one word—compromise. Think clearly and make sure that you’ve nicely made your point to avoid arguments when discussing options.
What if you can find a place somewhere central but still cheap? Go beyond hotels. Getting an apartment won’t just come cheap for larger groups but it’s most likely going to make your trip a bit more intimate, too. You can still plan everything but leave a day or two for the spontaneous activities. Have a barkada fund for entrance fees and food that you can split equally. Work things out to make your travel stress-free.
No matter how different your travel lifestyle is, you sure are going to learn a thing or two from each other. You may have different background and different jobs, but you’re in one barkada. It didn’t matter where you came from when you became friends in the first place. Why would having different travel lifestyles cause trouble, right?
Sometimes, even a monthly dinner with your friends is hard to schedule already. What more if you’re signing off from home, work, and responsibilities for a few days? Whatever your struggles as a barkada are, you know that at the end of the day, turning your plans into reality is worth it. But remember: your rare barkada trip can only happen if you want it to push through!